We love having Highland cattle for a lot of reasons...
Here are just a few:
Highlands are able to thrive the rigours of extreme climatic conditions, this is great because we live in northern Minnesota.
Highland cattle will prosper and perform well on grazing where less hardy breeds will fail.
The Highlands proven ability to produce top quality meat without the addition of expensive high quality feeds makes this breed the perfect choice for those people who wish to produce beef with natural inputs. We were looking to raise sustainable meat, so this was a huge point.
Their horns provide predator protection. Their long bangs (dossan) protect the eyes and face, shorter legs mean fewer foot and leg problems.
Highland cattle are exceptional mothers:
The natural free-ranging ability of Highlands coupled with unassisted calvings in all conditions as well as a rich milk high in butter fat (10%) make the Highland cow an ideal mother.
Highland cattle are truly easy unassisted calvers, birth weights average 50-75 pounds. The calves moderate bone structure and slim conformation along with the cow's wide pelvic reduce calving problems such as caesarean and prolapse.
Highland milk is high in butterfat, producing vigorous calves with acceptable natural weight gains. Cow's have superior udder quality an small teats.
Highland beef is able to command a premium over other breeds due to its all-round healthy eating appeal. Now it is slow-maturing, which makes it a premium beef which is lean, well marbled with low fat and cholesterol levels whilst remaining rich in protein and flavour, criteria increasingly demanded by today's market.
The marbling of the beef gives the same tenderness and tastiness as the other larger breeds. Studies in the US have verified that Highland Beef is 38% lower in fat content and 4% lower in cholesterol than steaks from local supermarkets.
Studies in the UK list the quantities of fat per 100 grams as:
Highland Beef Overall 4.5 g/ 100g
Other Breeds Beef Overall 15.6 g/ 100g
Highland Beef Overall 40.9 mg/100g
Other Breeds Beef Overall 64.3 mg/100g
Highland Beef Overall 20.7 g/100g
Other Breeds Beef Overall 18.6 g/100g
Highland Beef Overall 2.1 mg/100g
Other Breeds Beef Overall 2.0 mg/100g
Scottish Agricultural College, Dept. of Food Science and Technology published by McCance & Widdowson, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.